“A real entrepreneur is somebody who has no safety net underneath them.” ~ Henry Kravis
In every job there is danger. For a construction worker it could be a collapsed building. For a police officer it could be a crazy hostage situation. For a pizza maker it could be a burnt hand (ouch). For entrepreneurs, it is the danger of the unknown!
As an entrepreneur, a lot of a one’s success is determined by how much they are willing to risk.
To go out on your own and break free from the safety and security of a 9 to 5 job with benefits – that’s a lot of risk. Not knowing when your next client or customer will come along – that’s a lot of risk. Not knowing if your product or service will sell – that’s a…well you get the point.
Being a risk-taker is a recurring theme in every entrepreneurial article or book I have come across. In my experience, taking risk is a huge part of becoming an entrepreneur. One thing that’s even more important than being a risk-taker though is having passion. The average entrepreneur is said to be driven by their passion for the product or service they offer. This passion will break down any walls of fear of not having that “safety net”.
For anyone considering going out on their own and venturing into the world of ‘being your own boss’ remember to pack along your passion and let go of the fear – your passion for your product will be contagious in how you handle customers, how much effort you put into your work on a daily basis and how far you are willing to take your business.
Now, I’m no math whiz, but my final entrepreneurial equation is this:
passion x (risk – fear) = success
David Stern says
I’m not sure I understand how being risky contributes to entrepreneurial success.
Most entrepreneurs run businesses that lots of other people have already run (consulting, construction, retail, restaurants, etc.) so it makes sense to MINIMIZE risk by rigorous analysis and planning, and mastering best practices already established in one’s industry.
See, for example, Scott Shane’s book called The Illusions of Entrepreneurship. http://www.amazon.com/Illusions-Entrepreneurship-Costly-Entrepreneurs-Investors/dp/0300113315.
I think sometimes people mistake “risk taking” for not thoroughly thinking through a situation, or doing enough planning.
Thanks for your comment David. I believe we are discussing two different sides of risk-taking.
Of course one should always plan when starting a business, but what I am refering to is the risk involved in going out on your own (i.e. no benefits or security and stability of a 9 to 5 job – not having a “safety net”) and not letting the fear of being on your own stop you from taking the risk to start your own business.
I believe you are refering to people blindly starting a company without any research, analysis and information on their industry/field/company; which I never discussed in my entry.